BY : Nemain
Category: X-Men - Animated Series (all) > General
Dragon prints: 5214
Disclaimer: I do not own X-Men Evolution, or any of the characters from it. I make no money from from the writing of this story.

Disclaimers Apply

A/N Goddess Foxfeather writes lovely things for her Ted's avatar to be all...((sigh)) in... The dolphin greatly appreciates it. ;) InterNutter, TC and Maxwell Pink are sparkled. Readers/Reviewers: The ducks and I sat up all night doing shots of Jaegermeister and passing the mead, singing songs in your honor. It degraded into a rather ribald game of Post Office for the ducks after I went to bed, but I try not to think of it.

"You still like her or something, yo?"
"Shut up, Toad..." Lance scowled down at his companion and picked up the pace, necessitating Todd's stumbling step to catch up. "I've known her since I was thirteen, for fuck's sake. I can't let her do this..."
"Do what?" Todd sounded nervous. "For all we know, she's just in a cat fight with Tabby or maybe Pietro's putting the moves on her." Even as he said it, Todd knew it was unlikely.
"You know Mystique as well as I do. She wouldn't just up and vanish like this. She's still in Bayville and I'm willing to bet she's pissed as Hell about Kitty getting away from her." They were trudging down the blacktop road that passed the mansion's gates, keeping to the easementweetween the ditch and the road itself so as not to be noticed easily by any cars that might pass.
Todd made a soft snorting noise and shook his head. "I dunno, man. Mystique...she's been kinda squirrelly lately. Maybe she's breaking away from Magneto and wanted to make nice or somethin'." He had hit closer to the truth than he could possibly know but Lance dismissed the idea out of hand, slapping the shorter boy on the back of the head. "Hey! Don't make me kick your ass, man!"
"Not fucking likely," Lance muttered but keeping his hands to himself nonetheless. "Mystique wouldn't go soft. She hates the X Men and now she's gonna hate us when she finds out we're not at the Boardinghouse."
"Just because we're not there doesn't mean that we're not Brotherhood, yo!" Todd tried to maintain an expression of aloofness but failed miserably. After several minutes of quiet crunching through dried grass and the occasional squishing of mud beneath their sneakered feet, Todd stopped. "Lance?"
The taller boy stopped and sighed. "What?" _If this is a stupid question, I may kick his ass on general principle. _
"Are we still Brotherhood?" Todd had been trying to figure this out for a few days. He did not feel any different but he did not feel quite right saying he followed Magneto now. _Rogue did it...why can't I? Does she believe all the stuff the Professor preaches about? Norms and muties living together? Can we even do that? _
Lance stared into the darkness stretching before him, feeling it profoundly in his heart and in his mind. _Amara's not Brotherhood, no matter how indifferent she acts towards the X Men. I don't think we can live with normal people any more than a wolf can live with a lamb, but I don't want to hate anyone anymore. _ "Do you think we are?"
"I don't know..." Todd took a few tentative steps, bringing him to Lance's side, before he spoke again. "I don't want to go back to the Boardinghouse to live there. I'm tired of living in that pit, of feeling second class and being such a..." he cast about for a word.
"An ass?" Lance sighed. When Todd nodded, Lance said, "I know what you mean. I feel wrong, being part of the Brotherhood anymore. I don't think we can live with normal people like the Professor says we can, but if Magneto's idea of mutant superiority is torturing people," he spared a shudder for Ruth, "then I'm out."
"Right there with you, man." Todd's voice sounded lighter then, as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
The teenagers began walking again, the lights of suburbia welling before them at first in a white haze then as sparkling yellow dots as they crested a hill overlooking the main street of Bayville. They paused again as Lance got his bearings and nodded in the direction of the boardinghouse, a brisk ten-minute walk from where they were on the outskirts of town. "We need to run... I don't like the idea of Kitty alone in that place any longer than necessary."
Todd grimaced. He hated running. "You run. I hop..." He crouched low and tensed in preparation for a leap when a twig snapped behind them.
Lance spun on his heels, hands clenched and face set in a look of stone. A slight tremor sent Todd sprawling. "Who's there?"
Silence. Even the crickets were quiet. Another rumble, longer and deeper this time, brought the sound of bodies falling to earth and then a bright flare of fire, revealing Rogue and Amara less than ten feet away. "Watch it, Lance," Amara snapped, burning brightly.
"Princess!" he hissed, pulling Todd to his feet almost distractedly. "What are you two doing here?"
"Following you, dumbass, "Rogue growled. "Control your powers, man. You can't set of earthquakes every time there's a bump in the night!"
"Sit on it1, Rogue." Lance missed Todd's scowl. He had eyes only for Amara, her flames now off, barely visible in the night. "Princess..."
"If you didn't act so suspicious, we would have let you go. Rogue's idea," she added.
"Rogue," Todd began, causing three sets of eyes to fix on him. Lance and Amara looked openly curious-what could Toad have to say to Rogue, after all?-and Rogue looked a mixture of askance and aloofness. "Nothing," he finished lamely.
" where are we going?" the Goth asked, her heart tugging a little at the expression on her boyfriend's face. _I'm sorry, baby-we haven't told anyone yet and I don't want Lance and Amara to give us Hell right now. _
"We-meaning Toad and me-are going to the Boardinghouse. You two are going home," Lance snapped.
Amara caught his reference to the mansion as home and her spirits picked up. _His home is my home... _ "No. We're going with you." She held up a hand to stem his forthcoming outburst. "Stuff it, Lance. Let'." ."
Todd said helpfully, "We have to run."
"Lead on..." Rogue muttered. She knew how to get to the Boardinghouse as well as the boys did so she took off without notice, sprinting ahead.
"Hey!" Amara cried, setting after her.
"Princess!" Lance's long strides brought him even with Amara in no time, leaving Todd behind briefly.
"Suckers!" Todd leapt with wild abandon, following his friends and covering more ground than even Lance's long legs could in one bound. He came even with Rogue after four leaps and shortened his trajectory to stay near her. "So..."
"Can't talk...outta shape!" she gasped, her breath short and loud in the night.
"Not out of shape," he said in midair. "Just tired."
"Whatever..." Lance and Amara were thudding down the street after them, too close for her to say anything meaningful to Todd. He nodded once to her and sprang ahead.
The streets lost their sodium light tinge as the four neared the older part of town where the boardinghouse stood. Rogue skidded to a halt, nearly causing Amara to slam into her back. Lance's quick reflexes dragged her back and the two tumbled to the ground, leaving the Goth and Todd panting in the street. "Hear...that?" Rogue managed after a minute.
"What's that?" Amara asked from the ground, still laying across Lance's chest as if she needed to rest but Lance knew better-he could see her blushing, Not that he minded...
"Sounds like a fight, yo," Todd said in hushed tones. The sounds of growls and metallic ripping echoed in the still streets. In the distance, a police siren whined to life and the four teenagers exchanged panicked looks.
"That's Wolverine," Rogue breathed. "I know that sound anywhere!"
"Who's he fighting?" Amara asked, somewhat tremulously, rising to her feet in haste.
"I'm afraid to find out!" Rogue called, already running at full tilt. Todd took off after her, not even a question in his mind that if something bad was going down, he wanted to be at Rogue's side when it happened.
"Man, this is fucked up..." Lance growled. He grabbed Amara's hand and half-dragged her to the Boardinghouse. Rogue and Todd were already there, Todd's crouched form discernable in the night. The fighting seemed to be coming from around the side yard so Lance dragged Amara to where their companions stood, hiding against a black car vaguely familiar to him. "What's happening?"
"Wolverine...and I have a sick feeling that's Sabertooth," Rogue whispered. A shadow passed the front window, a shadow with a high ponytail, and Rogue groaned. "Kitty's in there, alright...Where's Kurt? He should have had her outta there in no time flat!"
"Maybe he doesn't know she's in there," Todd muttered.
Lance sighed. "I'm going in."
"Not without me!" Amara hissed, clamping her fingers onto waistband.
"Not without us," Rogue corrected. She was torn between going to help Kitty and possibly Kurt or going to see the fight, to make sure Logan was in one piece. His roars and the sound of continued combat reassured her somewhat, though, and she hurried to join the trio creeping towards the house.
Toad waved them to stop, motioning for quiet. For once, Lance let him take charge. "Amara, stick close to Lance...he knows ways in and out of here...Rogue and me don't need a guide," he smirked in his secret girlfriend's direction. "Split up... Lance and Amara can take the basement, Rogue go around to the back door and I'll take the second floor."
"How the Hell are you going to get up there?" Amara asked.
"Bouncey bouncey!" he grinned. "Same way I got you outta your room the other night!"
"What were you doing in Amara's room?" Rogue snapped, making all three sets of eyes turn to her with mixes of curiosity and apprehension. "What?" she snapped in response.
"I'll tell you all about it later,, Rogue!" Lance gave him a look of death but Todd merely looked away. "C'mon..." With one last backwards look at Rogue, Todd vanished into the darkness and crept towards the side of the house away from the surreal soundtrack of fighting mutants. Rogue's footsteps trailed him for a few yards then veered towards the narrow wooden door around the back of the house. Lance and Amara could not be heard at all. Several lights were on, giving Todd pause. Which one to start with? His old room was dark so he decided to try there first. _Besides, my window latch was broken...damn near froze to death every winter...I know I can get in there. _ He stepped back several feet and bunched his thigh muscles, taking a deep breath before launching himself at the house. With agile fingers, he clung to the window frame and dangled briefly as one hand worked the pane of glass up far enough so he could slither in. He hit the floor with a muted thump, freezing as he listened for the tell tale sounds of other people in the house. Nothing. Oh, that's so not good. A floorboard creaked near the door and he nearly jumped out of his skin. Tabby came into view, her eyes wide and panicked, her face red from crying. "Boom Boom?"
"They killed her, Toad!" she moaned, wringing her hands. "I fucking saw 'em!"
In one bound, he was across the room and shaking her hard. "Who? Who'd they kill?"

Kurt groaned softly as he returned to consciousness. His head throbbed in time with his heart, making him sick to his stomach. When he tried to move, he found his limbs-even his tail-bound with heavy marine rope2 and forcing him into a ball. Fuck. He tried to 'port and felt sheer terror wash over him as he realized he could not. "Ah, glad you could join the living..." Magneto's face came into his line of vision, a sly smirk gracing the old man's features. "Trying to use your powers will only tire you out. Ask your girlfriend...she's around here somewhere." Louder, turning in a slow circle, Magneto called out "Come out, come out wherever you are!"
"Bastard!" Kurt bit out. "Wolverine..."
" occupied with Sabertooth at the moment. We're going to be quite cozy in here, you and I. Pietro is searching for Kitty-shouldn't take too long; this house is, after all, not so large, hmmm? Mystique has been dispensed of, and Blob...well, you've already seen him this evening, haven't you?"
Kurt decided not to tell Magneto that Mystique appeared to have survived her plunge through the window. "I'll kill you, old man!"
"Not bloody don't have it in you. Gambit, Rogue...maybe even Jean or Cyclops...those I would not put it past to at least make a concerted effort to dispense of me, but you..." he made a tsk-ing noise, "you would never do it. You would not want to soil your image for Kitty."
"Katzchen is mine and I'll protect her with my life!" Kurt growled, not caring that he had come over all protective and proprietary. "What did you do to me? Why can't I use my powers?"
Magneto smiled then, a genuine smile that made Kurt quail inside. "Ah...that. It's a new invention of mine. Kitty had the honor of being my first subject. Rogue was to be my second, but Pietro was his duties. " Kurt watched through narrowed eyes as Magneto produced a leather pouch from his jacket pocket. From that, he drew forth a syringe, capped and full of a mystery fluid. "I have found that some gifts given to me during the war are quite useful. Did you know that certain nerve gases and toxins, when mixed with a few things I had laying around the lab, will neutralize mutations for a short period? No? Well, it's amazing the things you can learn on a slow day with a canister of nerve gas."
" poisoned mein Katzchen?" Kurt was shaking with rage. "'re her grandfather! How could you do it?"
A sneer edged into place on Magneto's face. "Her grandfather...I much rather prefer progenitor. If it weren't for me, she wouldn't be here. So, I guess you have me to thank for your newly acquired sex life, hmmm?"
Kurt reacted with the speed of a cobra striking. Magneto was close and Kurt struck forward, despite his bindings. Shoving himself with his feet, he rolled onto his knees and bit, sinking his teeth into Magneto's knee. With a yowl unlike him, Magneto kicked with his other leg and sent Kurt sprawling, the copper tang of blood filling his mouth. "You don't deserve to live!"
Magneto had lost what little humor he had left. "Pietro!" he bellowed. "Pietro!"
"What?" The blond youth appeared in the doorway almost as soon as Magneto said his name.
"Where is she?"
"Who?" At the pointed look his father sent his way, Pietro had the grace to blush. "Um...I can't find her."
Kurt smiled to himself. _Good like Hell! _ "You'll not find her..."
"She hasn't left the house, dolt! She's here...find her, Pietro. I will see any failure as a sign that you do not deserve any position of leadership within the Brotherhood."
"But...I looked everywhere! The basement, the kitchen, even Toad's room!" Pietro finally saw Kurt in the corner, blood dripping form his lips and fangs and looking altogether gory. "What the Hell happened?" he asked in a stunned voice.
"You heard me, boy! Go!" Magneto's voice fairly shook the windows and Kurt was very certain he heard a muffled squeak come from the wall near his ear. He dared not breathe, hoping to hear it again. "Now you listen and you listen well, Kurt. You will be my bait. I want Kitty back now and she will come to you, won't she? Obedient little minx." With deft fingers, Magneto sank the needle into the vein in Kurt's neck, throbbing even through his fur. Kurt hissed and tasted something chemical flood his saliva. "Your metabolism is so fast that you'll need another injection soon...let's make this snappy, eh?" Magneto swiftly untied Kurt's legs and dragged the teen to his feet, weaving under the effects of the drug. "Call her."
"Nein." Kurt felt like being sick all over Magneto's Prada loafers. "Never."
"Call her." The older man shook him and Kurt felt his gorge rise.
"Nein," he said, louder. _That squeak was human...what other person could get into the walls? It had to be Kitty! _
Magneto backhanded Kurt before the youth could react. "Call her or I will see to it all she has left to remember you by is that damned tail!"
"Nein!" Kurt growled. A thump sounded behind him and Magneto's eyes flared hot. Nein..
"Let him go."
" flesh and nice of you to join the party."
1 I'll confess...I've been watching HAPPY DAYS. Expression is akin to fuck off.
2 The really thick type used to moor boats.

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